1873 Royal Worcester Porcelain Vases
My father bought them. He collected Royal Worcester. And then when my mother passed on, this was one of my picks from her collection because they were on the night table by her bed. If she had them on her night table, they meant a lot to her and they must have been good.
And your mother didn't tell you what they were?
If she did, honestly, I've gotten so old I don't remember. (laughs)
Okay. They're very striking and the quality of them is very, very high. They're made of porcelain and even though they are rather overtly Japanese in their style, they're English-made. They were made by Royal Worcester. And Royal Worcester is an old, established English porcelain company. Royal Worcester is currently in the process of going out of business after over 250 years of continuous operation. So it's quite sad. But when these were made by Royal Worcester, they were at a high point in their history in terms of success commercially, and also in terms of quality of manufacture. There's really no one else that it's likely to be except for Royal Worcester. But we can confirm that by turning over one of them. And you'll see there's a little printed mark on the bottom. It's kind of a roundel mark. And underneath the round is a number, 73. And that's the date-- 1873-- right in the middle of the reign of Queen Victoria. One of the fashions in 1873, not just in England but also in this country, is what we call Japonisme. And Japonisme is a French word that's used in English to describe the Western interpretation of Japanese art and design. And the art of Japan was somewhat unknown to most Westerners. It wasn't until just a few years earlier in the late 1860s that the first exhibitions of Japanese art and artistry had been held in London and Paris. The shape of them is a traditional Asian form we call a moon flask shape. But the front panels are decorated to simulate carved and stained ivory, which is a Japanese technique. And the main ground of the vases is this speckled gilt finish over a deep blue ground that simulates Japanese lacquer. And the vase maker has gone as far on the back. Both vases have this fabulous flying crane device on the back. This has all been done in porcelain. They've got great condition. I love the form of them, I love the scale of them. They're just the right sort of size to sit on and decorate a mantelpiece. I talked with a couple of my colleagues and we felt that the auction estimate would be at least $10,000 and maybe as much as $14,000 or $15,000.
Okay. Thank you. That means a lot to me.
I also think that the value of them would potentially be a little greater in England than anywhere else.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.